My Blogging Experience

This blog has been a challenge, mostly because i think i haven’t been updating regularly enough. If i had kept up to date and blogged after every single lecture i would have so much more content and much better quality. This is easily the biggest project i have taken on so far this year, mostly because its an on going task that we’ve been working on for months now. The creativity involved is always my favorite aspect of any project I take on.

I firstly started by making my own banner using Photoshop, i wanted to choose something that suited me and my interests. As a result i chose a Jimi Hendrix themed header with a simple but eye catching black and white twist. This didn’t look personal enough to me or my blog so i edited my name and the name of my blog onto the fret board of the guitar also using Photoshop, i didn’t want my name in a huge, bold font so i thought id do it quite subtly. We also learned ways to kind of advertise our blogs, or more accurately, make it easier for someone to stumble across there for getting more views, simply by adding tags. For most of my blogs i would do the write up of the lesson or subject I’m writing about then worry about the aesthetics later on. I would format and add pictures and/or featured images once the write up was completed. The visual media used in my blog are hopefully relevant to my posts and convey the knowledge I’m trying to get across, especially in my ‘the harsh truth’ game review posts. I think they are a good representation of my posts and are stimulating and make the posts a little more interesting for the reader so they carry on reading and even start to look at other posts.

I used my blog away from class a lot purely because I felt more comfortable on my own and therefor a lot more creative than i would have been in the mac lab. I also started my own blog called ‘The Harsh Truth’, not the most creative name i know but i couldn’t really think of another name for it. It’s a simple idea, its just reviews of what i think are some of the worst but most hyped and built up games of the past couple of years, mostly on modern platforms such as xbox and Playstation 3. I used a featured image for each of these so they would have their own header of a picture relevant to the game being reviewed. I used the same layout for all three to maintain continuity just having some text and a picture aligned to the right with the writing to the left of it.

The most difficult thing about the blog, as i mentioned in my introduction was the sheer amount which may not seem like that much in each post but added together is a lot of write ups, formatting and finding the right pictures to go with the blog. Also because some of the posts where i was writing about a subject but not doing it straight after the lecture or in the lecture i didn’t write as much as i could have. If i did do it soon after the lecture i believe i could have gone in to a lot more detail. Another difficult aspect was trying to write the history of the photography parts of the blog. With things to do with history i find it hard to write up a brief explanation or history without almost copying the article I’m looking at because with history it’s either write or its wrong, its fact, it’s not very opinion based, with things like pinhole photography i mean at least.

Although difficult, there were many aspects of the blog i enjoyed. The personal part of my blog especially, given enough time i could write reviews about games all day and hopefully its what i will end up doing after university. Maybe I’ll start another blog on WordPress or even carry on with this one, doing independent reviews. I really enjoy writing reviews and hope to carry on doing it, professionally or independently. I also enjoyed Maya, making 3d images and animating them, then posting them including step by step images of what was done and the final product.

I think blogging is a great way to remember things and make a record of things you have learned. From an academic point of view the blog is a great, inventive way of helping students remember things they have learned and also a great way to revise if there is an exam, all the notes and ‘how to’s’ serving as revision notes only instead of scribbled notes on a piece of paper there is aesthetically pleasing and even some interactive  posts with pictures and step by step guides, what better revision notes than all of that. All that aside blogging is a good way of looking back at things you have accomplished and even what other people have accomplished. It is a great way of recording history, where as we look at books that people have recorded history in to its not too hard to believe that in a short while children, teenagers and university students alike will be reading blogs about things like afghan or political issues of the time. Blogs are definitely the future, giving further insight than what a book can do in some ways.

My blog didn’t really attract much attention, this is because i completely took tags for granted so no one really stumbled on to my blog by searching something and it coming up because of my tags. If i had added tags, especially on the game reviews due to games being so popular, and the ones I was writing about being quite recent, I believe a  more people may have accidentally found my WordPress blog and may have even became interested and kept following my reviews.

With all of my lecture related blogs I was really conscious about them being public because i felt people may just either not get it, the way iv put it, or just find it a really bad explanation on my part. As for my ‘The Harsh Truth’ blog i was quite happy to have it public, i only wish i used tags so people may have actually come across it, unfortunately, they did not. Games are something I’m really passionate about and could write endless amounts on the games iv played listing their pro’s and con’s and going in to great amounts of detail about them. The reason the ones on my blog seem so quickly done is because they quite simply are.

Conclusively, The blog is a great way to learn, but feels like a lot more work than any other project in other modules, which may not be a bad thing considering a lot of work in the media, in my opinion, will involve a lot of work, and a lot of over night staying up for 48 hour kind of work and projects. I thoroughly enjoyed using WordPress, its a simple, easy way to record things you’ve done, whether its for academic or personal use at home. It could even be included as a creative web-based portfolio for a job your trying to apply for in the media, as a URL in your CV or even just on its own, emailed to an employer.

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Brink!

Firstly, this was announced as a sandbox game, a hybrid of mirrors edge and fallout 3.This is not the case. From 40 types of guns that all feel and look the same to the jumpy game play.

S.M.A.R.T (smooth movement across random terrain) is apparently a breakthrough movement engine that is extremely intuitive. While probably the most entertaining aspect of the game, its still glitchy and just doesn’t feel ‘smooth’. You’ll often find yourself trying to free run away from a group of enemies when outnumbered and getting stuck behind a knee high fence.

The campaign feels just like multi-player and has little to no storyline that gets you involved with the characters. You’ll be dying or downed for 40% of the single player campaign due to sloppy/ non intuitive AI characters who aren’t backing you up and a barrage of constantly spawning enemies in front AND behind you.

Overall it feels like an arcade game that should be no more that £12, certainly not a full £40. It simply lacks content and all modes feel the same.

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Lomography!

Lomography is typically characterized by low quality pictures and odd lighting effects and other imperfections not normally seen in traditional photography. Its also usually a spontaneous style of photography. All this is what gives lomography its unique look and feel.

Brief history

the original Lomography cameras were russian made and were first produced in 1984, this being the LOMO LC-A Compact Automat camera becoming the companies LOMO main activity. The company Holga make a 120mm toy camera in China which has a similar effect of low fidelity.

Further reading – http://www.lomography.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lomography

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The coffee cup!

Today we were given the task of making a 3 dimensional coffee cup. We were shown how to make a ring and a cylinder to build up the cup from the bottom. We then had to make the lip of the cup and fit it around the top and the base of the cup.

Below is the final product.

I found this introduction and Maya in general to be very interesting and i was looking forward to doing a lot more within the software.

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Bowling alley Dynamics!

We were given a 3d structure of a bowling alley by our lecturers and told to animate and texture it. To do a simple animation we were told to apply dynamics to the structure. Firstly, we had to apply gravity to the bowling ball, then making it an active rigid body by going to the dynamics menu > Soft/ Rigid Bodies > Create an active rigid body so the bowling ball would not fall through the bowling alley.

The bowling alley then had to be made into a passive rigid body rather than active. Once we did this we found the ball was too bouncy, to fix this we clicked the bowling ball and entered the side tab to edit the attributes. We then changed the bounciness of the ball to a much lower setting.

The final part was to add an active rigid body to the bowling pins and gravity so they wouldn’t float away when hit by the bowling ball. We had to add velocity to the bowling ball on the z-axis. lastly, I added some textures. Following all of these steps i ended up with the video above.

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Welcome to PhotoShop!

Getting used to the work area

Our first piece of work was basic, we had to basically spotlight one of the coins shown in the image. Using the zoom tool we enlarged the coin so it would be easier to select the coin. We used the eliptical marquee tool to select and fine tuned it untill the coin was selected.

Using image>adjustments>curves we then lowered the output of the area around the coin so the coin became alluminated.

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Zenit-E

The Zenit-E is an old Russian made camera. It was made from 1965 – 1968, it was quite popular due to the reasonable price range. It was also produced under other brands such as Kalimar, Revueflex, Prinzflex, Photokina, Spiraflex,  Cosmorex. The camera offered fixed 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250 and 1/500 shutter speeds. These are the details for the  Zenit E:-

Picture size — 24×36 mm
Width of perforated film — 35 mm
Number of frames — 36
Shutter speeds — from 1/30 s. to 1/500 s. (automatic), “B” (by hand) and slow shutter
speed
Viewfinder field of view — 20×28 mm
Eyepiece magnification — 5x
Thread for lens — M42x1
Mechanical back focal distance — 45.5 mm
Standard lens — “HELIOS-44-2″ or”INDUSTAR-50-
2”
Focal length — 58 mm 50 mm
Relative aperture — 1:2 1:3.5
Focusing range — from “∞” to 0.5 mfrom “∞” to 0.65 m
Diaphragm scale — from 2 to 16 from 3.5 to 16
Seat for sun shade — Ø55 mm Ø36 mm
Light filter mounting thread — 49×0.75 33×0.5
Tripod socket thread — 1/4″ 1/4″
Camera overall dimensions — 138x93x100 mm 138x93x72 mm
Weight — 920 g 800 g

Camera Information

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